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The Retreat of ReasonA dilemma in the philosophy of life$
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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276900.001.0001

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THE DILEMMA AS REGARDS TEMPORAL NEUTRALITY

THE DILEMMA AS REGARDS TEMPORAL NEUTRALITY

Chapter:
(p.222) 17 THE DILEMMA AS REGARDS TEMPORAL NEUTRALITY
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0018

Since it has been found that the biases towards the near and the future are irrational, it follows that people who are rationalists, in the sense that their dominant aim is to lead a life in which they have only rational attitudes, must rid themselves of these biases. But since it has also been found in these chapters that these biases involve the bias towards the perceived and the mechanism of spontaneous induction, this amounts to getting rid of the latter two as well. This chapter argues that getting rid of the bias towards the perceived exposes one to a sense of the meaninglessness of life, in which local matters dwindle into insignificance in a cosmic perspective, and that getting rid of the mechanism of spontaneous induction exposes one to a sense of the precariousness of life, a pervasive sense of insecurity. Therefore, this aim is at odds with the satisfactionalist aim of maximizing the desire-fulfilment of one’s life. Hence, the first of three dilemmas or conflicts between two fundamental aims are encountered: the rationalist and the satisfactionalist aims.

Keywords:   bias, future, near, perceived, maximizing desire-fulfilment, meaninglessness of life, mechanism of spontaneous induction

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